SKOWHEGAN, Maine — A hearing to determine if the now 12-year-old Fairfield girl charged with manslaughter in connection with the death of a baby in 2012 is competent to stand trial is to be held Thursday in Somerset County District Court.
The hearing is closed to the public.
Psychologists for the prosecution and the defense are expected to testify about their examinations of the girl. Previous reports, motions and most other documents filed in the case have been sealed.
The girl is charged with reckless or criminally negligent manslaughter in connection with the death of 3-month-old Brooklyn Foss-Greenaway. The baby was in the care of the mother of the accused girl on July 8, 2012, the day of the infant’s death.
The defendant was 10 years old when the baby was killed.
District Court Judge Charles LaVerdiere ruled in March 2013 and again in June that the girl, who the Bangor Daily News is not naming because she is a juvenile, was not competent to stand trial.
LaVerdiere concluded in March last year that “at this time, the State has not met its burden of demonstrating that the juvenile is competent to proceed under the standard established by the Maine Juvenile Code,” according to a previously published report. The judge said in June that, essentially, nothing had changed.
The judge is not expected to issue a ruling following Thursday’s hearing. He most likely will take the matter under advisement and issue a written order next month.
Assistant Attorney General Leane Zainea, who now is prosecuting the case, and defense attorney John Martin of Skowhegan declined Wednesday to discuss what psychologists might tell the judge.
If convicted of manslaughter, the girl probably would be sent to a residential treatment facility or group home under the direction of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services where she could be with children her own age, rather than to the Long Creek Youth Development Center in Portland, according to a previously published report.
Long Creek is the only juvenile facility in the state that houses girls.
Since her arrest, the girl has been under the care of DHHS, according to the attorney general’s office.